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Tenerife Medical

Tenerife Health Care and Medicine

On this page    Vaccinations  Ailments  Dental  Medical Cover  Medical Cover (residents)  

Tenerife is good for your Health!
The La Oratava Valley is definitely good for your health. Researchers from Buchen, Germany have concluded results from investigations, which started in early 1990's, on effects on human health of this valley. Dr. Limberg said the health of children with heart, lung and respiratory conditions improved due to a combination of climate, height above sea level and ecological diversity. Further data from investigations carried out last century are to be compiled to create a more detailed study.

The British Consulate advise us that sinusitis sufferers may find their condition is aggravated by long term residence in Tenerife, presumably from the increased dust levels in a warm climate.

Sea Water Thalassso Therapy
is available in the Canary Islands. This health centre covers 6,800 square metres and holds 350-400 visitors daily. Extensive water area for relaxing and recovering strength, swimming against currents, micro-bubble seats, water jets for body pains, micro-bubble beds, cold pools and hot pools. Individual treatments and special programs.

Vaccinations, Health Info for Travellers
British Visitors can get medical information from leaflets SA29 and 30, available in UK from the Dept of Health Form E111, which transfers your health care cover to other participating countries should be obtained from any DHSS or Post Office before travelling. In any case, ALL visitors should ensure they have proper travel insurance to cover all eventualities.

Vaccine against Typhus or North African diseases are NOT required in the Canary Islands.

Information issued to American travel agents, advising their customers to seek vaccination against typhus and hepatitis A &B before travelling to Tenerife is WRONG. Reports that people could catch cholera, rabies and diphtheria because the Canaries are only 100 kilometres off the coast of Africa are WRONG. The Islands are Spanish and from a health point of view, have the same resources and standards as Western Europe.

Standard Immunisations for all Countries, not just Canary Islands.
These are the standard world health recommendations for travellers which have been in force for many years and are still the official guidelines at the time of writing. Preparation for travelling is an ideal opportunity to have immunisations carried out, many of which will apply to your own country. For infected areas check with your doctor or travel clinic. Anti-malaria tablets and precautions against insect bites - Yellow fever (compulsory for some countries). In certain circumstances check with your doctor or travel clinic, Cholera - Meningoccal Meningitis - Tick-Borne Encephalitis - Tuberculosis - Japanese Encephalitis - Rabies - Hepatitis B - Diphtheria booster.

Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus  For ALL countries.
PoliomyelitisALL North/West Europe, N. America, Australia, New Zealand.
Hepatitis A, Typhoid For areas where hygiene and sanitation less than ideal

General Ailments
Travel Sickness - How to alleviate this burden.
(1) Don't read during the journey
(2) Avoid bad smells, egg sandwiches, smoke, fish
(3) Avoid cold draughts
(4) Avoid alcohol, it makes things worse
(5) Try to stay tranquil and quiet
(6) Visit your chemist and asked for travel sickness tablets and take them before you leave. Some can last up to 4 hours. These are not suitable for children as they can cause drowsiness, ask your pharmacist for advise on children's prescriptions

Tetanus - A dangerous disease and is caught by introduction of bacterial spores through even the slightest wound. The spores are found world wide, mainly in soil and manure. Everyone should be protected by immunisation as a child and boosters.

Rabies occurs in animals in Europe and North America as well as less developed countries - so avoid touching stray animals, whether wild, stray or appearing 'tame' If you are bitten by an animal while away on holiday -
(1) wash wound using soap or detergent, apply alcohol if possible.
(2) get medical attention fast, nearest doctor or hospital, if you need rabies vaccination ask for 'human diploid vaccine'
(3) note date and place of incident and description of animal. (4) inform local police. (5) whether you receive treatment abroad or not, consult your doctor as soon as you return.

If the animal is not wild/stray, ascertain identity of owner, exchange telephone numbers and address, arrange to contact them to see if animal becomes ill over a two week period. Find out if the animal has already received rabies vaccine and ask to see certificate. Rabies vaccine is only necessary for those who may be exposed to high risk of infection or journeys to remote areas where medical treatment may not be available. Even if immunised this does not remove need for urgent treatment.

HIV-AIDS can be passed on in four main ways.

  1. through unprotected sex with an infected person.
  2. through the use of infected syringes, medical, dental, anything that punctures the skin such a tattooing equipment.
  3. by transfusions of HIV infected blood
  4. from infected mother to baby before or during childbirth and breast feeding.
Like anywhere, but especially on holiday, do not have unprotected casual sex, the person you have sex with may look well and still be infected. Always use a condom they are the most effective protection against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Do not inject non-prescribed drugs. Do not have a tattoo, acupuncture, ears pierced unless you are sure the equipment is sterile. Try and ensure any medical treatment particularly blood transfusions are absolutely necessary. Make sure medical equipment is taken from a sealed pack. If you need a transfusion ask for screened blood. If travelling to a place where equipment may be suspect take you own special kit.

Dental Problems

The Spanish word Dentista is not exactly synonymous with the English word Dentist. For all but simple dentistry, filling etc. you should go to Estomatologista or Odontologo.

Health Cover - Visitors

Visitors - Not on EC passports
Visitors to Tenerife who are not holders of European EC passports should take out Travel and/or Medical Insurance. The standards of health care in Tenerife are very high, and the same modern and hi-tech resources used in advanced societies are used here. Consequently, in keeping with most other countries, medical costs tend to be high. If you have an accident, and do not have some form of cover, like the USA, you could get some nasty shocks when the bills come in.

Visitors - on EC passports.
We always advise any traveller to Tenerife to take out travel insurance. If you are an EC citizen, you can also get an E111 form from your nearest post office before you travel. This will give you cover under the EAA agreements, where reciprocal health care is available between member states within the EC.
Using Form E111 Treatment is obviously only provided by practitioners within the Spanish health care system, Consultorio's (Health Centres) Centro Sanitario or Ambulatorio (Hospital/Clinic) within the health scheme. If you need a doctor in an emergency, make it clear you have form E111 and you want to be treated under the EC arrangements.
Form E111 can NOT be used if you live and work, or are resident in Tenerife - it is for visitors.
If you need treatment always have a photocopy of the form which you hand over to the doctor, you keep the original. Dental treatment is not covered. Medicines prescribed by health scheme practitioners can be obtained from any chemist (farmacia). You will have to pay 40% of the cost unless you are a UK or other EEA pensioner, in which case it would be free. Any hospital treatment you may need will usually be arranged by a doctor. If you require urgent treatment, it will only be provided free of charge in a public ward at a state hospital. Show your E111 immediately you arrive and hand over a photocopy. If you fail to do this you may be charged as a private patient. Under strict terms of Spanish health care, refunds of private patient charges can only be made if that treatment is given in a life or death situation when state hospital facilities are not available.

Health Cover - Residents

Important Note - Form E111 can NOT be used if you live and work, or are resident in Tenerife - it is for visitors.

As a resident of Tenerife, at the time of obtaining your Residencia, or Contract of Work and Social Security documents via your employer, you will have received a plastic 'Credit Card' style medical card. The card will contain the essential information and ID numbers required by the national health service, before they can give you treatment. Always separately record the information on these cards, in case of loss. If you know this information, then you will still probably get treatment.
Important - When you first receive your Residencia card, you should go to your nearest national health medical centre, and register. Your will be advised who your family doctor is be and where his/her practice is.